Major League Baseball has become a lot less welcoming to sports bettors since the pandemic began in March 2020. As a result, many casual fans have lost interest in one of the nation’s most popular sports. Due to the lack of action and lower attendance, the future of MLB betting looks rather bleak. However, as the world slowly begins to gain its sense of freedom and interest in sports increases, so too will interest in betting on MLB games.
Why Are Sports Betting And Attendance Suing The MLB?
The lawsuit filed by the Seattle Mariners against Major League Baseball is one of the most significant lawsuits in the history of the sport. The case had its roots in the 2020 season, when the baseball world was shaken by the pandemic and the entire season was postponed. The game itself was halted after two innings and no one knew if or when it would resume.
The lawsuit claimed that Major League Baseball was unjustly enriched by the pandemic because its members were paid throughout the season and were kept busy with exhibition games. The Mariners are looking to recoup some of the earnings they lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to get every game back on the ice and to allow fans to bet on them so they can use the winnings to fund their sports teams.
The lawsuit marks the first time that Major League Baseball has been penalized by a judge. Judge James Q. Whisenant III ordered Major League Baseball to pay $3.75 million to the cities and counties of the West Coast, where the Mariners’ regional office is located. Judge Whisenant also ordered Major League Baseball to pay a $675,000 penalty to the state of Washington for its “knowing and/or negligent” violations of the Coronavirus Restrictions in Sports.
When Will MLB Betting Resume?
The initial response of Major League Baseball to the Seattle lawsuit was to attempt to have the entire thing dismissed. However, a hearing was held in August and the judge denied the request to have the lawsuit dismissed. The league then filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but later decided to terminate the appeal. This is how we know that the case will be headed to trial.
Aftermath of the pandemic is likely to change the way we will see sports in the future. With the cancellation of the NBA and NHL seasons, and major conference college basketball tournaments being postponed, it’s clear that fans will have less time to dedicate to watching sports. With the ability to stream live sports on many platforms, fans can now spend their time where they want, when they want. This trend will likely continue with less people trying to follow major sports due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, social distancing is still recommended for those trying to avoid Covid-19. This means that many will not be going to sporting events and will instead stay at home, where sports are often available for fans to enjoy.
Although the MLB lawsuit was filed due to the pandemic, it will not be the last time that fans are angry with the sport. The coronavirus pandemic hurt fans across the country and around the world, but it also reminded everyone that sports can be a lot more than meets the eye. For example, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies played a 20-inning series in May 2020, the first time the teams had played since the pandemic. Both teams had a large number of fans in attendance, wearing face masks and sitting a good distance from one another. This is because the Diamondbacks and Rockies had to play before a smaller audience due to the pandemic. While the game was interesting and entertaining, there were a number of unspoken rules that had to be followed, such as wearing masks and keeping a distance from others.
Will Legalized Sports Betting Improve The Popularity Of Baseball In The U.S.?
One of the main reasons why Major League Baseball is facing an uphill battle when it comes to getting back its fans is due to the legality of online sports betting in the U.S. The legality of sports betting varies from state to state, but most of them ban it completely. In New York, for example, it is completely illegal for residents to enjoy a game that they are betting on. This is because the New York Gaming Commission feels that it encourages people to gamble, which it already has enough problems battling as it is.
It would be best if the federal government changed the legal status of sports betting in the U.S., allowing states to regulate it themselves. A 2020 Gallup poll showed that 59% of Americans supported legal sports betting, while only 20% were opposed.
What About The Future Of MLB Television Coverage?
The way we enjoy sports has changed drastically since the start of the pandemic. Many people now get their entertainment from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which provide original content as well as sports. Due to the pandemic, there was a considerable amount of canceled sports events and postponed seasons. This has led to a drop in the amount of sports coverage on television, especially during the weekend. However, Netflix is committed to producing original content, including several sports-related shows. Some of these shows are even becoming quite popular. Here’s a look at several of them:
- Ballers – Season 1 (Premiere date: May 28, 2020)
- NHL Blitz (Premiere date: November 13, 2019)
- Triple Frontier (Premiere date: February 26, 2020)
- Street Fighter (Premiere date: June 4, 2020)
- Champions (Premiere date: August 25, 2020)
- First They Score (Premiere date: October 22, 2020)
- The Hunt (Premiere date: September 17, 2021)
- The Rookies (Premiere date: May 6, 2021)
- Marvel’s The Defenders (Season 1 Premiere date: July 19, 2021)
MLB itself has tried to adapt to the new way fans are watching and enjoying sports. The league has experimented with various methods, from expanding the number of teams by adding the St. Louis Cardinals to its National League to increasing the number of games on its schedule. The hope is to gain more revenue and to get fans back for a season or two. However, as the popularity of baseball continues to decrease, it will be a challenge for MLB to increase its viewership and to get more people interested in watching the game. The need for new stadiums and the willingness of teams to continue playing the game are also issues that MLB has to deal with.
Overall, Will The MLB Betting Problem Be Solved?
The legality of sports betting in the U.S. is undoubtedly one of the major issues holding back the growth of MLB and making it less appealing to bettors. The entire nation is still in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, which has caused physical distancing, self-isolation, and fear. Despite these challenges, the desire for sports and entertainment remains. The only question is, when will the MLB betting problem be solved?